MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey Talks 2019
MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey is confident that the 2019 MotoAmerica Series will be the best yet – both on and off the track. Here he previews the season ahead for what is the American Superbike Championship, these days referred to as MotoAmerica.
For starters, we are very close to announcing a new television package for the 2019 season and we’re taking the production of the TV and digital package in house. It will be a lot of work, but it will give us complete control of what we’re doing and how our content looks, and it will be more accessible than it’s ever been. Since the very first announcement of MotoAmerica taking over the AMA Superbike Series in 2014, this is the biggest thing we’ve ever announced. It’s the next step and we can’t wait to tell you about it.
We are keeping our class structure the same for the coming season with Superbike, Supersport, Liqui Moly Junior Cup, Stock 1000 and Twins Cup back again. We’ve made a few small tweaks to some of the rules and those changes should make the classes even more competitive.
It’s also been good to see some of the rider announcements that have come out lately. Of course, the biggest one was the second Yoshimura Suzuki seat that went to Josh Herrin. Throw in the fact that we get to see two-time MotoAmerica Supersport Champion JD Beach in the Superbike class and you can see why our fans are chomping at the bit for us to get started. We are as well.
Look at the Superbike grid and you’ll find defending champion Cameron Beaubier, his Monster Yamaha teammate Garrett Gerloff; the two Yoshimura Suzukis with Toni Elias and Herrin, the Westby Yamaha with Mathew Scholtz, the Estenson Racing/Attack Performance Yamaha ridden by Beach, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki of Jake Lewis… and the list goes on. We also know more rider/team announcements are coming soon and it will be the strongest Superbike grid MotoAmerica has had in its five-year existence.
Supersport will again be hard fought. Just when Hayden Gillim might have thought things would get easier with his friend Beach moving to Superbike, along comes word that PJ Jacobsen will be doing the series on a Celtic Racing/HSBK Yamaha. As is always the case with racing, there’s always someone who is going to step up and compete and those two likely won’t have it all their way. Also, it’s good to see some of the kids moving to Supersport with Cory Ventura making the jump from Liqui Moly Junior Cup to Supersport, and Sean Kelly set to make his MotoAmerica Supersport debut for the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team.
We have already seen our entries to continue to grow in the two classes we introduced last year – Stock 1000 and Twins Cup – after seeing the success of those by the end of last year. In fact, we are already seeing a substantial increase in entries across all classes. Liqui Moly Junior Cup will be a slugfest as always and we’ll start the season with the parity that we saw by the end of last season with all the manufacturers having a chance to win.
While the racing portion of our weekend remains number one, we are continuing our efforts to make the MotoAmerica weekends about much more than just racing. And that means more entertainment for our fans, more things for them to do when they’re not watching what’s happening on track. Last year at Sonoma Raceway we worked hard to make that event family friendly and we included a carnival that proved to be extremely popular. So much so that we’ve decided to go with that at the majority of our races this season.
To go with the extra family friendly activities, we’re also offering Free Fridays this year at most tracks. We will also offer a kids 16 and under for free with a paid adult ticket pricing at most of our venues. We’d love to have more families at our races so we’re going to make it as affordable as possible for families to attend.
It’s funny how at times the offseason seems to go quickly and at other times it tends to drag. We’ve been busy so time has gone quickly, but I still wish the racing started next week. I watch the countdown clock on our website and I eagerly await the start of the season at Road Atlanta the first weekend of April. I hope to see you all there.